Classic Book Review: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse


The Turunn Tribune refuses to have any part in the disingenuous sensationalism of the journalistic “race to the bottom”. We do not want to be seen regurgitating the latest unsavory political shenanigans, or feeding whichever current clickbait is running amok across the web. Instead we are engaging in a “race to the top”, beginning with a series of reviews of classic works from top Swedish book professionals. This new direction begins with Dr. Stig Bonnerschörn’s concise but insightful critique of Herman Hesse’s timeless masterpiece.

The Penguin 1992 edition of Hesse’s Siddhartha is one of the most elegant books that I have seen in this market sector. A slim volume with a cover made of solid bleached grade 2 cardstock–slightly thicker than the usual grade 3 casing material–but not so rigid that it loses pliability, remaining easily manuable for a variety of grips. Standard polyvinyl acetate hot melt is used to secure the casing to the fore-edge. The grain direction runs satisfactorily parallel to the spine, allowing us to overlook a small amount of disbinding still visible on the flyleaf.

The Japanese milling on the hinge is an unusual extravagance on a book in this price range, but nevertheless appreciated, by this reviewer at least!

All leafing is woodfree uncoated, 65 g/m2, standard fare but still superior to the unbiquitous machine-finished offerings. All things considered, this small volume punches well above its weight, absolutely no signs of stubbing or pastedown, a rarity on today’s bookshelf.

For this outstanding review we award the prestigious Turunn Tribune 5-herring rating! Well done Hermann!